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State Senator

James Maroney

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven and Woodbridge

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Sen. Maroney Highlights Funding for Veteran Job Training and Job Placement Program in Democratic State Budget

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MILFORD, CT – This week, state Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) toured Bead Industries and met with manufacturing industry professionals to highlight a program he introduced this legislative session which will help veterans receive quality job training and find good manufacturing jobs. The Military to Machinist Program has also been included in the proposed Democratic budget.

“I am pleased to see that this program will be funded under the proposed Democratic budget,” said Sen. Maroney. “Making the transition from a military career to a civilian career can be very difficult and this program aims to not only make that transition easier, but also to ensure that our veterans are thriving in new manufacturing careers. This legislation will also help the manufacturing industry in Connecticut by introducing a pool of qualified, eager employees to further strengthen our state’s manufacturing industry and economy.”

The Democratic budget will provide $250,000 each year for the Military to Machinist Program. The Democratic budget passed the Appropriations Committee and Finance Committee mandated committee deadline.

Under Senate Bill 968, the Military to Machinist Program will accomplish the following:

  • Assist veterans in earning an advanced manufacturing certificate from a qualifying certificate program of an institution of higher education.
  • Certificate holders will also be aided in finding employment with any eligible business* in the advanced manufacturing field.
  • In addition, the bill creates a special Veterans Platform to Employment program that will assist long termed unemployed veterans in gaining employment.

*Connecticut businesses in good standing regarding state and local tax payments are considered eligible businesses.

Steven Kennedy the Connecticut Team Leader at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Joe Carbone, President and CEO of The Workplace which will run the program, both agreed the prospects for this program are limitless. Carbone said this legislation will be advantageous to the manufacturing industry in Connecticut.

“Manufacturing is experiencing resurgence and employers require a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. This initiative will provide veterans with industry specific skills needed to succeed in manufacturing careers,” said Carbone. “Teamwork, communication and critical thinking skills are essential to manufacturing and we will help veterans demonstrate their skills and talents translate from military service.”

Kennedy added that many veterans will benefit greatly from this program, making the transition from a military career to a civilian career more seamless and less arduous.

“The transition from the military can be incredibly challenging. In addition to losing the strong social support provided by a military unit, the hard skills that some veterans gain during their military service do not necessarily translate well to civilian careers,” said Kennedy. “We are very glad to see SB 968 enjoying bipartisan support, in recognition of the great value that veterans can add to any market when they receive the proper training. Our returning veterans have a demonstrated commitment to service and have demonstrated the ability to adapt and excel under extremely difficult circumstances. Connecticut’s high-tech manufacturers have consistently expressed a need for skilled workers, and taking advantage of veterans’ skills and experience can allow veterans to build their futures here in Connecticut while continuing to drive our state’s economy forward. We applaud the Veterans’ Affairs Committee for pushing this bill forward and urge the Senate and House to adopt it.”

The bill awaits state Senate action after passing the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in a bipartisan, unanimous vote on March 12.

Other Highlights of the Democratic State Budget

Investing in Workforce Development

  • Provides greater funding than the Governor proposed for several workforce development programs including:
    • Jobs Funnel Programs ($632K each year)
    • Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative ($1.1 M each year)
    • Healthcare Apprenticeship Initiative ($500K each year)
    • Connecticut’s Youth Employment Program ($1 M each year)
    • Cradle to Career ($100K each year)
    • Pilot Re-Entry Program ($800K each year)
    • Veteran Machinists Training ($250K each year)

Advancing Education

  • Increases funding for K-12 education by tens of millions of dollars from FY 19 ($42 million in FY 20 & $80 million in FY 21)
  • Fully funds the ECS formula as required under the ten year phase-in adopted by the bipartisan budget in 2017.
  • Increases funding for community colleges from FY 19 ($8 million in FY 20 & $10 million in FY 21)

Supporting Connecticut Families

  • Includes funding to support the implementation of an increase in the minimum wage
  • Funds the creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave program
  • Funds a public health care insurance option for families and small businesses

Safeguarding Seniors

  • Provides funding for the Center for Medicare Advocacy ($300K in each year)
  • Increases funding for Meals on Wheels ($475K in each year)

Other Investments

  • Includes funding for Juvenile Justice Outreach ($11.7 M in FY 20 and $10.2 M in FY 21)
  • Funds services for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities including employment and day services for new high school graduates ($6.3 M in FY 20 and $14.6 M in FY 21) as well as individuals aging out of the Department of Children and Families and residential schools ($3 M in FY 20 and $5.7 M in FY 21)
  • Preserves funding for mental health and substance abuse grants ($1.6 M in each year)
  • Provides funding for caseload growth in the Birth to Three program ($1.4 M in FY 20 and $2 M in FY 21)
  • Includes funding for a new State Trooper Class in FY 20
  • Provides funding to staff Welcome Centers and restore the hours of operation at the Rest Areas on our highways

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